Sex + Dating

STD Rates Have Hit an All-Time High. Come on, America.

STD rates in the united states
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Get it together, America. How have we not figured out how to put a condom on yet? Seriously. I’m baffled. And with good reason.

Sex Ed isn’t taught nearly enough in schools. There isn’t enough information given about how our bodies or diseases actually work, and some schools are still clinging to ineffective abstinence-only education. It’s like living in the STD apocalypse.


According to a new report from the CDC, rates of gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia STI infections increased dramatically in 2015. This likely has to do with the budget cuts in sexual health programs and clinics the US has seen recently. According to PBS, 20 clinics have closed in the last year alone.

“STD rates are rising, and many of the country’s systems for preventing STDs have eroded. We must mobilize, rebuild and expand services — or the human and economic burden will continue to grow,” Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention said in a prepared statement.

STD rates are going CRAZY

Compared to STI rates in 2014, the number of cases has gotten out seriously out of hand. Syphilis rates have increased by 19%, gonorrhea by almost 13% and chlamydia by almost 6%. To terrify you even more, the CDC estimates that 110 million people in the US currently have an STD. You can even have two STDs at one time.

Over two-thirds of 1.5 million newly reported cases of chlamydia happened in people between the ages of 15 and 24.

This is disturbing news. According to PBS, in 2009, STDs were on a rapid and wonderful decline. There were only 98 reported cases of gonorrhea per every 100,000 people. That rate increased by 26% in 2015. Can I get a collective WTF?

While all three of these STIs can be treated and cured with antibiotics, it’s important to note that gonorrhea is quickly gaining resistance to treatment. This is some scary shit. It means that in the future, the antibiotics we use to treat these infections could be rendered ineffective.

The pullout method, really?

On top of a lack of sexual education, Gen Y has been regularly been referred to as the “pullout generation,” meaning young people choose coitus interruptus over condoms or other forms of birth control. This is a wildly irresponsible way to prevent pregnancy, but also provides zero protection against sexually transmitted diseases.

We need to stop accepting the sexual health care and education we’re provided and start figuring out how we’re going to curb this problem because the numbers are showing that this cataclysmic situation is only going to get worse.

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Gigi is Thrillist's Sex and Dating Staff Writer. STDs are terrifying OMG. Follow her lovable crazy on Twitter, iTunesFacebook and Instagram: @GigiEngle.